Loading...
Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "undefined".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    May 13, 1886

    “Logical Antinomianism” The Signs of the Times, 12, 18.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A writer for a professedly Adventist paper in the East, in an article against Sabbath-keeping, says of the ten commamdments: “Paul tells those who keep this law that they are ‘fallen from grace,’ which is equivalent to saying that there is no salvation in keeping the ten commandments.” We never yet came across any such statement in any of Paul’s writings, but we know that there are many people who, in their hatred of the Sabbath, teach just such stuff. There are people organized into churches, whose chief article of faith is that the law of God is abolished, although it is seldom that one is found bold enough to declare that all who keep the law of God are worthy of death. But this is the inevitable conclusion; for if God’s law has been abolished, then it must now be sin to follow the injunctions of that law.SITI May 13, 1886, page 278.1

    Let us suppose that we have the records of a church whose foundation (?) is the belief that God’s law has been abolished, in which discipline is rigidly enforced. We should read something like this: “Brother A was charged with a crime of not having taken the name of God in vain for three months. A committee was appointed to labor with him, but he acknowledged the truth of the charge, and stubbornly refused to change his course, stating that he was determined always to hold the name of his Creator in reverence. Accordingly he was disfellowshiped as one irrevocably fallen from grace.SITI May 13, 1886, page 278.2

    “Deacon B had in early life been well known as a horse jockey. After he joined the church his natural ability was exerted with tenfold diligence for the edifying of the body of Christ. So skillful had he become by long practice in chicanery, that no man could by any means get even with him in a bargain. He could cheat and lie with unblushing countenance. In short, he was an ornament to the church. But in an evil day he fell in with a traveling preacher, who persuaded him that the law of God is binding upon Christians, and from that time he became a different man. He began at once to restore to those whom he had defrauded. This caused suspicion in the minds of his brethren. Finally suspicion became certainty, when Brother X overheard him tell the truth in regard to an old horse which he was selling to one he was no judge of animals. By this unwarranted act, he actually lost the opportunity of cheating the poor man out of fifty dollars! In another instance, he could easily have extorted one hundred per cent interest from a brother who was forced to borrow a sum of money for three months. Instead of doing so, however, he loaned the brother the money without interest. Patient labor was bestowed upon him, but to all entreaties he turned a deaf ear, perversely repeating the words, Thou shalt not steal, and saying that henceforth he should abide by that rule. He even expressed extreme sorrow that he ever violated it. He was decided to be an incorrigible observer of the old ten-commandment law, and was accordingly disfellowshiped by unanimous vote.SITI May 13, 1886, page 278.3

    “Mr. C had gained a wide notoriety as a ‘bruiser’ and cut-throat. He had ‘killed his man’ many times, and was so expert with the pistol that his bullet never failed to reach the heart. It was his delight to lie in wait for unsuspecting and inoffensive persons, and kill them without any warning. He was so adroit with all, that the officers of the law had never been able to detect him in these acts. He had never read the Bible, nor heard of the ten commandments. He was finally arrested for a petty crime, and while lying in jail he was visited by a clergyman, who read the Bible to him. For the first time in his life he heard the obsolete commandment, Thou shalt not kill. When he learned that this was spoken by the great Jehovah, amid the thunders of Sinai, he was struck with terror and remorse, with trembling lips he confessed all his past course, and was assured by the minister that God would pardon. Accordingly, as soon as he was released, he applied for admission to the church; but he was told that he had now fallen from grace,-that the ten commandments are abolished; that no man who professed a desire to keep them could become a member of the church of Belial. After a short talk with the committee, he seemed to see the matter clearly. Drawing a revolver, he shot the chairman through the heart, and with a club he knocked down two of the deacons, all the time using the most violent oaths. Upon this clear evidence of his fitness for church membership, he was at once received into full fellowship.SITI May 13, 1886, page 278.4

    “Brother D was turned out of the church in disgrace. Cause: A rigid observance of the old seventh commandment. At the same time, Mr. F and Mrs. G. on profession of having lived in open adultery for a year, were admitted into the church.”SITI May 13, 1886, page 278.5

    And thus we might read on for pages. Does it seem irreverent to write in such a strain? It is only what would actually be done if no-law people always lived up to their profession. People have actually been turned out of churches simply because they kept the fourth commandment; and if people are disfellowshiped for keeping the fourth commandment, why not for keeping any other? And when men say that it is sin to keep the ten commandments, who shall say what abominable things they do not do in secret? or that they would not do them openly if fear of their fellow-men did not restrain them?SITI May 13, 1886, page 278.6

    Why is it that professed Christians speak with such contempt of the law of God? Because they hate the fourth commandment, which enjoins the observance of the Sabbath. Primarily, however, it is because of the hatred of all law and restraint. No doubt they would repudiate the picture which we have portrayed. They would profess abhorrence of murder, adultery, and theft. But if it is a sin to keep the fourth commandment, it is also wrong to keep the sixth, seventh and eight. If they teach that the law of God is not in force, that those who keep it have fallen from grace, they necessarily teach that it is no sin to swear, lie, steal, kill, and commit adultery! Nay, more, they actually teach people that they must do those things in order to secure the favor of God! A more horrible doctrine could not be imagined. To teachers of such doctrines we commend a careful consideration of the following texts, the application of which is obvious:-SITI May 13, 1886, page 278.7

    “Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; and, stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?” Jeremiah 7:8-10.SITI May 13, 1886, page 278.8

    “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that the darkness to light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” “Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rotteness, and their blossoms the shall go up as dust; because they have cast away law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 5:20, 24. W.SITI May 13, 1886, page 278.9

    “Under the Law” The Signs of the Times, 12, 18.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The next text which we shall notice is Galatians 5:18. “But if ye led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Antinomians very rarely quote this verse, doubtless because it is so very evident from the connection that the law is recognized as being in active existence. Let us give it our attention for a little while, that we may see what beautiful harmony there is in the Bible on the subject of the law.SITI May 13, 1886, page 278.10

    Since those who are led by the Spirit are not under the law, it follows that those who are not led by the Spirit are under the law. Again, the preceding verses read as follows: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other.” Galatians 5:16, 17. These verses state in the plainest terms that the flesh and the Spirit are contrary to each other; that walking in the flesh and walking in the Spirit are directly opposite conditions. Then since those who are led by the Spirit are not under the law, and those who are not led by the Spirit are under the law, it follows that those who are under the law are those who are fulfilling the lusts of the flesh.SITI May 13, 1886, page 278.11

    “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21.SITI May 13, 1886, page 278.12

    The fruit of the Spirit is, of course, the very opposite, being “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” Verses 22, 23. Referring to these fruits of the Spirit, the apostle says: “Against such there is no law.” Verse 23. That is, those who are led by the Spirit, and who yield its fruits, are in harmony with the law; while the law is against the works of the flesh; and those who do the works of the flesh are condemned by the law, or are under it. Here we arrive at the same conclusion as in regard to Romans 6:14, that “under the law” simply represents a state of antagonism to, and violation of, the law; and of course no one could be in such a state if the law were not in full force. Now since all sinners are by the law condemned to death (Romans 3:19; 6:23), it follows again that “under the law” means condemned by the law-under the sentence of death.SITI May 13, 1886, page 278.13

    Turning backward, we find the expression “under the law” used twice in Galatians 4:4, 5: “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”SITI May 13, 1886, page 278.14

    In the third verse the apostle says that when we were children we were “in bondage under the elements of the world.” But (that marks a change) God sent forth his Son to redeem “them that were under the law.” We would naturally expect the redemption to be from that under which we were in bondage, which was “the elements of the world.” In the fifth verse the redemption is said to be from “under the law,” thus showing that “in bondage under the elements of the world,” and “under the law,” are equivalent terms.SITI May 13, 1886, page 278.15

    Let us trace further this matter of bondage. In verse 9 Paul says to the Galatians: “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” Here it is implied that they were in danger of returning to a condition in which they had previously been. And what condition was that? Read verse 8: “Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.” That is, they were heathen. So being in bondage to the elements of the world,-the “weak and beggarly elements,”-is equivalent to being in a state of heathenism. Those who do not know God are termed heathen. But no man can know God without being a follower of Christ, as the Saviour said, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. In the strict Bible sense, therefore, all who are not in Christ are heathen. And therefore although Paul addressed his epistle to those who had been idolaters in the commonly accepted sense, the argument is of universal application.SITI May 13, 1886, page 278.16

    We conclude, then, that the “elements of the world” are simply the various forms of sin. This is still further shown by Ephesians 2:1-3: “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience; among whom also we all had our conversation [manner of life] in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” Nothing but sin is meant by “the course of this world,” the “weak and beggarly elements,” and “the elements of the world.” And to be “in bondage under the elements of the world,” is to be “under the law,” in a state of condemnation.SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.1

    Christ came in the fullness of time (see Mark 1:14, 15; Daniel 9:25) “to redeem them that were under the law.” But in order to do this, he himself had to be “made under the law.” This is in harmony with Hebrews 2:17, which says: “Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” The people whom Christ came to redeem were “under the law,” therefore he was made like them, “under the law.”SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.2

    Now if there is any lingering doubt as to the meaning of “under the law,” compare with the above and Galatians 4:4, 5, Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 5:21: “For he [God] hath made him [Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Christ was sinless; he “did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth” (1 Peter 2:22); the Law of God was in his heart (Psalm 40:8), and his whole life was an exemplification of the law. Yet knowing no sin, he was made to be sin for us. As the prophet said: “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:5, 6. We were in bondage to sin, “under the law,” and he took upon himself the same bonds, and was made under the law. Moreover, since those “under the law” are condemned, under sentence of death, he, “being found in fashion as a man,” having voluntarily placed himself in the same condemnation, “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:7, 8.SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.3

    And so the innocent suffered for the guilty. Man had been overcome by sin, and by it brought into bondage (2 Peter 2:19), and in order to redeem him from this corruption, and the death that must necessarily follow (James 1:15), the spotless Son of God took upon himself the form of a servant of sin, and consented to be covered with the same degradation into which man had plunged himself. What for? “That we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21. In order that we might be made without “spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing” (Ephesians 5:27),-perfectly conformable to the holy Law of God; and that thus being enabled, in Christ, to keep the commandments, we might through him have eternal life. Matthew 19:17.SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.4

    Before leaving this text in Galatians, there is one more point which we wish to place before the reader. We read that Christ was “made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.” It was necessary for Christ to assume the condition of those whom he would redeem. This being the case, we may know that Christ redeems none who occupy a position different from that which he took. This is plainly stated in the Scripture. “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren,” etc. Hebrews 2:16, 17. Those whom he was made like, he can redeem; others he cannot. We read also that Christ “died for all.” 2 Corinthians 5:15. What, then, is the necessary conclusion? Just this: Since he was made “under the law,” and was made like those whom he came to redeem, and he came to redeem all men, then all men were “under the law.” Further, the text indicates that he came for the sole purpose of redeeming them that were under the law; their being under the law made necessary some act for their redemption. If they had not been under the law, they would have needed no redemption. Now when we recall Paul’s words to the effect that Christ “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14), the conclusion is unavoidable that “under the law” indicates the state of sin which characterizes every human being, and from which none can be rescued but by Christ.SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.5

    But notice the dilemma in which they place themselves, who claim that Gentiles are not “under the law,” and that the law was only for the Jews. If that position were true, it would necessarily follow that since Christ came to redeem only those who are under the law, he came to redeem only the Jews! For certain it is, that no person who is not in the position which Christ took upon himself when he came to redeem man, can have any part in that redemption. We think that none, when they consider this point, will place themselves outside of God’s scheme of redemption, by refusing to admit that they are by nature and by practice “under the law.”SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.6

    Let us rather acknowledge our guilt, that it may be washed away in the blood of the Lamb. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13. W.SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.7

    “Cleansing of the Sanctuary” The Signs of the Times, 12, 18.

    E. J. Waggoner

    QUESTION.-“Was the cleansing of the sanctuary finished at the end of the twenty-three hundred days? or is the work of cleansing still going on? If it is still going on, when will it be finished? “W. L. K.”SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.8

    ANSWER.-It is very evident from the reading of Daniel 8:13, 14 that the end of the twenty-three hundred (years), the cleansing of the sanctuary was begun, and not then finished. The angels words, “Unto two thousand and three hundred years; then shall the sanctuary cleansed,” were in reply to the following questions: “How long shall be the vision concerning the daily, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the post to be trodden underfoot?” The reply showed that the sanctuary and the host were to be trodden underfoot “unto two thousand and three hundred days;” consequently the cleansing began at the close of the days.SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.9

    The cleansing of the sanctuary is the blotting out of the sins of God’s people. When that work is finished, the names of those who have not overcome will have been blotted out of the Lamb’s book of life, and that shows that probation ends when the work of cleansing the sanctuary is completed. But the gospel still reaches the hearts of sinners; therefore probation is not ended, and the work of cleansing the sanctuary is still going on. When this work will be finished, no man can tell. We cannot know that it will be soon. To the close of this work the following words apply: “Be ye therefore ready also; for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.”SITI May 13, 1886, page 279.10

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents